You held off for as long as you could. You really did. I mean… there were so many reasons not to, from environmental considerations to the fantastic public transport system that made this country great. Yet, whether through a new job, a change in family circumstances or the fact that the number 13 bus made you late for work for the last damned time, you’ve made an important decision… you’re going to buy a car!
You likely regard the prospect with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. After all, this is proper grown up stuff. For the first time you’ll be buying a car of your very own. You won’t be renting a car that smells faintly of lemon, you won’t be borrowing Dad’s with its musky odour and glove box full of Werther’s originals. This car will be well and truly yours… but here are some things nobody ever tells you about buying your first car…
Car sales professionals aren’t slimy creeps. They’re actually surprisingly helpful
Car sales professionals can get kind of a bad rep. They’re not necessarily the slimy, smarmy creeps pop culture has made them out to be. Okay, some of them are. But they can still be surprisingly helpful even if they’re only doing so out of self-interest.
At the end of the day, they want their commission and they only get this if you buy a car. And this makes them incredibly amenable to negotiation. Threaten to walk unless they shave 5% off the asking price or add some free cool extras and there’s a good chance they’ll pop in the back for a word with their manager before bashfully conceding.
Don’t get a diesel if you only do short trips
If said sales professional is trying to get you to buy a diesel car yet you’ll mostly use the car to travel to your office 10 miles away, turn them down flat. Diesel cars are not suited to short journeys in urban traffic. Every now and then they need to purge their particulate filters and this is best done under motorway conditions (preferably driving in 4th gear) for around 15 minutes. You should do this at least once a week. Otherwise the filter can clog with soot and this can be a very expensive repair.
Don’t just buy for today
If you live and work in a busy city centre you may be looking for a cute runaround that’s suited to urban driving, but it pays to think about the future too. Might there be a need for a booster seat in the back in the next few years? If so, something a little bigger may be more sensible. The new Vauxhall Vivaro Life MPV but even if you don’t need something quite so robust it still might be in your best interests to invest in something bigger and more economical. You never know what the future will bring.
Buying new may just cost you less in the long run
Conventional wisdom dictates that your first car should probably be a used car… but conventional wisdom isn’t always right. A new vehicle may be more cost effective in the long run. New cars use better technology making them more fuel efficient and they often contain cool features like rear parking sensors to save you the expense (and embarrassment) of those car park bumps. They can also come with more attractive finance packages and, of course, the peace of mind that comes with the manufacturer’s warranty.
There are many ways in which you can save money on your first car. Check out this article for more info.
When you know these seldom discussed secrets, finding the perfect first car at a great price is a doddle!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.